I think this line from Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas does a good job summarizing the problem with the GOP right now but misses a very important component:
Here’s the Republican Party’s problem, in two sentences: It would be a disaster for the party to shut down the government over Obamacare. But it’s good for every individual Republican politician to support shutting down the government over Obamacare.
This reason this now normal dynamic has finally turned seriously problematic is that our broken election system has freed individual House Republicans from actually needing to worry about the good of the party.
Our gerrymandered single-member districts are completely broken and it is now causing a governmental crisis.
It has now given the Republicans an almost insurmountable advantage in the House. They actually lost the popular vote last year but still won a large majority in the House. Democrats would need to beat the GOP by an almost unheard of ten points to take back the chamber. This is dangerous.
House Republicans collectively no longer need to worry about being popular, producing results, or getting things done to stay in power. Each Republican is freed to pursue their own goals regardless what it means for their party or country.
Our broken election system has eliminated the critical accountability mechanism that normally stops political parties from adopting the selfish and destructive tactics the GOP uses recently.
This is not simply a problem within the Republican party, this is the byproduct of a crisis of democracy.
Image Laiane Wolfsong under Creative Commons license